Do the parents of a deceased child who was married have any rights to items they provided to the child before she was married?

UPDATED: May 23, 2012

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Do the parents of a deceased child who was married have any rights to items they provided to the child before she was married?

My sister passed away two years ago. She was 30 and married for 5 years. Everything her and her husband had was given to her/them by my parents. Car, furniture, appliances, exercise equipment, etc; I could go on and on. My parents have requested a few items from her widower that have sentimental value to them and he is refusing saying they have no rights to anything. Is this true?

Asked on May 23, 2012 under Estate Planning, Kansas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your sister.

If your sister did not leave a Will in which she could have left items to your parents, then the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.  Under intestate succession, your sister's entire estate would go to her surviving spouse and your parents unfortunately would not inherit anything.  If there had not been a surviving spouse and if your sister had no surviving children, then your parents would have inherited her estate.

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